Friday, October 26, 2007

volga - ganga

Though I am tempted to write another post on SRK after watching him on TV at HT Leadership Summit, I'll hold that for a while... and I have something equally interesting!

I read a book called 'Volga Ganga', and I am in hangover of that book ever since. Author of the book, Rahul Sankrityanaya, is 'most widely traveled' scholar, wiki says. And that's good enough reason for me to respect him :)

As the title suggests, the book is about the Euro-Asia region, the area between rivers Volga and Ganga. To put it simply, it's about the so-called evolution of human race in this region. If you wonder why I am getting sarcastic about evolution, that's what the book did to me.

It starts with a leaf of life set in Volga banks at 6000 B.C. Then it covers the times after that, seeing the human race evolved, forming communities, having a ruling system called 'ganatantra'(democracy), discovering gold, forming kingdoms, fighting, introducing the concept called 'God', birth of Hinduism, origin of Vedas & Upanishads, birth of Islam, the commercial development, times of Budhdha, Kalidas, and Ashwagosha, times of Moghals in India, East India Company's rule in India, the freedom struggle in India, and so on.

If that sounds like a plain-boring series of historical info, it's not quite that. This book might change your understanding about all these things, specially your pride about the culturally-rich, ages-old civilisation of ours, and the 'Sanaatana Dharma'. This book throws light on the origin of the concept of God, and why it was done. And also about the caste-system in India, and the reason behind the origin of Vedas.

This book is written in episodical form, taking some fictitious characters of each era in the background of historical developments of that time. I found it extremely interesting.

I read the Kannada translation of the book. I guess it was originally written in Hindi. There must be a English translation too.